Image courtesy Bernard Oh @ Flickr

You’re almost there!  Congrats on making it all the way here.  Pat yourself on the back for learning how to make good videos, do better documentation, take cut-n-paste coding to a new level and oh yes, did we mention, do a project?  This is computing in the real-world, right here, right now.  Oh yeah!

Yes, we know you still have so many features and refinements to do (and we hope you will do them), but it’s now time to set things aside and make sure you have all of your current work documented for your peers to review this coming week.  Yes, we also know you are doing so many other projects as the summer is coming to an end soon.

After the scramble to make all of your documentation by the 25th, in the week ahead, you will be judging the final outcome of your peers’ projects too.  Importantly, we need you to turn in your peer evaluations on time.  We need these evaluations on time, as we need to wrap up the Orbital grading, so as to meet the deadlines for assigning the 4 S/U credits for the course (CP3108B).

Look to the “Preview Forms” section in Skylab for the Evaluation 3 milestone criteria for which your project will be graded by.  In the week following your peer review, do keep in mind you will have to do one final evaluation of your peers’ reviews on your project, so that you can give credit and thanks to all of those reviews that were helpful (including your own advisors and mentors).

Good luck!  Stay strong — you’ve come all this way.  Give each other the encouragement to stay the course!  There’s only Splashdown to go!

P/S – speaking of Splashdown, Splashdown’s date is likely changing to the 24th of Aug (1 week later) due to conflicts with other School events.  That’s one more week to polish your marketing drive, video and demos (While your project is graded by the state it is in at Milestone 3, you can tell the staff through your advisor that you have made significant progress since Milestone 3, and that we should re-evaluate your project during Splashdown.

P/P/S – Thinking of withdrawing from Orbital?  For 80% of teams that dropped in previous cohorts, this is the time where you are severely tested for time.  We advise that you try your best to stay the course and finish — you get loads of self-confidence and Orbital chops for completing.  However, if you cannot manage it, please inform us — both via your advisor and directly to Orbital in Slack.  We need all members of your group to write in, so that we’re sure that all members assent to the withdrawal.

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This year’s valedictorian Yap Zi Xuan from our School of Computing mentioned Orbital as a pivotal moment in her SoC tenure.

“When I first matriculated, I had the intention of joining a financial or consulting firm upon graduation as the pay tends to be lucrative in these companies,” said Ms Yap, 23.

“That held true until our first summer vacation, when the Orbital Programme was introduced for freshmen.”

The Orbital Programme requires students to initiate their own projects and work independently. Ms Yap said it fuelled her interest in user experience design and web development.

“As I made a drastic change in my career choices from then on, I became thankful for the abundance of career opportunities offered by a computing degree,” she added.

Read the full story here: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/nus-president-urges-computing-graduates-to-embrace-lifelong-learning-for-future-success

Photo Credits: Philipp Pohle @ Flickr
Photo Credits: Philipp Pohle @ Flickr

Dear all:

Your second Orbital hurdle is here!  Please make sure to put up your project’ revised README and log into Skylab (no later than tonight 27 Jun 11:59pm SGT).  The only difference from Milestone 1 is that you can make a new video of up to three minutes in length.  Hopefully your team has made some progress on prototyping, but even if you haven’t, just explain how your project is going.

Remember, at the end of Orbital you’ll be evaluated on your finished project — it doesn’t really matter how you get there (i.e., whether you’re behind where you want to be now).

Thanks to the groups who have at least put in a preliminary or final project README and log into Skylab.  Note that you need to inform your EG adviser in advance of the deadline if for some reason you cannot make the deadline.  You must inform your advisers in advance, or lateness may count against your eligibility for getting credit for Orbital.

In the following week, you’ll also need to do the peer evaluations of your three peer teams in your evaluation group. These evaluations are due in Skylab no later than 4 Jul 11:59pm (exactly 1 week later).

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 8.15.15 PMTomorrow, Min (@knmnyn on Slack) will cover Machine Learning for Newbies for fun.  As the basic foundation in the 4A workshop, he will cover what machine learning is about, and have you enrol into Kaggle, a machine learning global competition system, in which you’ll try your hand at submitting an entry into the Facebook check-in competition, using some really simple settings (often called “the baseline”).  We’ll review some fundamentals in machine learning and give you some intuition on they work, with the hope of getting these things working in 4B.

Min won’t be going over the algorithms used in machine learning, but rather introducing you to the real-world context of applying those algorithms onto data sets.  In the 4B workshop, we’ll apply some of the machine learning techniques on the FB dataset and learn how to do training, and testing, and will submit a better entry to the Kaggle Facebook competition.

Ready?  MC4 documents (still not ready, Min is never quite ready for lessons until lessons start :-S ):
http://bit.ly/orbital16-scikit

 

Skylab_illustration Dear all:

After a short hiatus, Skylab is back and ready to take your evaluations of your peer teams.  Due to the downtime, you now have until 8 Jun 23:55 to complete your peer evaluations.

Save often and keep a back up of your work!  Please report all bugs to the #skylab channel or in the Git issue tracker (on the right part of the footer at the bottom of every Skylab page), and we’ll attend to it as soon as we can.

 

Photo Credits: KatieJean97 @ Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/katiejean97/

Next week, NUS Greyhats‘ Amon and Kai Yuan (@amon and @thngkaiyuan on Slack) will cover Web
Exploitation 101 as part of the Greyhats Mission Control session. As
the basic foundation, they will be covering the application specific
standard attacks that are common to many web applications (but not
limited solely to web applications):

  1.  SQL Injection
  2. Command Injection
  3. XSS
  4. CSRF
  5. Open Redirects

In addition, Greyhats may also delve into more exotic
platform-specific attacks, that are applicable to PHP, Rails, Python,
Java.

Ready?  Here are the documents for MC #3: http://bit.ly/orbital16-offwebsec

You might also be interested in this links: http://qxcg.net/how-websites-are-broken-resources.html.

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Photo Credits: James M @ Flickr

Dear all:

Your first Orbital hurdle is here!  Please make sure to file your team’s README and Project Log and link to video in Skylab no later than 30 May 2016 11:55pm SGT, but preferably as soon as possible).   N.B. – The Skylab link is available from the main Orbital website.

Min went over the process in brief at the conclusion of Liftoff (video here), which gives the overview of the entire evaluation process for all three months and milestones.

  1. We’ve also prepared a video for you to watch with your teammate on what you need to do to file your Milestone 1.  The video covers several steps:
  2. How to set a password on your account, in case NUS OpenID goes down (this was an issue last year)
  3. Where to preview the evaluation forms used in the peer review process for Milestone 1
  4. Then, how to file your Milestone 1 deliverables (README, Project Log, 1 minute Video Link*).
  5. Finally, to remind you that you must ask for any form of extension in advance of the deadline.  Any deadline extension request should be filed with your advisor.

In the following week (30 May — 6 Jun), you’ll also need to do the peer evaluations of your three peer teams in your evaluation group to be listed in Skylab. These evaluations are due to be submitting in Skylab no later than 6 Jun 2016 11:55pm (exactly 1 week later).

Stay in touch with your advisor and ask if you need help on Slack!

* For the 1 minute video link, you can use an offset to the Ignition videos that we captured, by viewing and time stamping one of the three videos: i3 Auditorium , The Hangar , Extras

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 12.49.51 AMEver wanted to try your hand at creating a game?  Now’s your chance!    http://bit.ly/orbital16-gamedev

To those coming for the Mission Control, do try to get SFML set up and working before (directions in the bit.ly document). If you can compile this, all is good.

https://gist.githubusercontent.com/Ohohcakester/293d22f5968c008a596677c4db3f048c/raw/a3fc62a9707b7cbe476acfd83b57c6be5713bb79/sample_game.cpp

The two videos of the session are here:


Other media from the event!
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We’ve noticed that many of you have difficulties receiving timely notices through Slack. To ensure you do receive announcements, we’ll be sending emails for each announcement. These announcements are made on the main Orbital website, broadcasted to Slack in the #general channel already, but now additionally, emailed to you via your email address registered on Skylab. Hope you receive them! Hint: — we’ll be sending out some later today!

Need a guide?  Courtesy: akunamatata @ Flickr

Get some help from the industry experts and senior students who have volunteered their time to discuss your project with you!

Mentors come in many forms: from both industry, recent alumni, as well as even current students (many who took Orbital in the past years). See which matches your temperament and your idea. Do note that as in past years, some mentors are more popular than others, so be open-minded about whom you might want to work with if you are interested in getting a mentor.

Again, if you do want to try for mentorship, you need to let us know via a Slack DM or email telling us the names of the mentors you don’t mind having.

Do note that as in past years, some mentors are more popular than others, so be open-minded about whom you might want to work with if you are interested in getting a mentor.  We will acknowledge all requests so you know that your preferences are noted and currently in the processing pipeline.

We need this as soon as possible, as we wish to finalize mentorship links this week (by 13 May, Friday).  Mentorship is a two way street, and details on the program are on the website https://orbital.comp.nus.edu.sg/?page_id=1486.

(Some of the mentor profiles have been recently updated today!).

Currently, we have bids by the following 20 teams:

0xDEAD BEEF, 1064, 1080, 1173, 1182, 1192, Ant Inc., Copyleft, Foodies, Help, JFK, MusicMakers, No Break, No Brake, Ohm, OrderFirst, Panata, TAC, Team Rocket!, Travellin, bottMother and insertnamehere.

Not on this list, and wanting mentorship?  Please DM @knmnyn on Slack, with your mentor preference list ASAP.  Thanks!